Too much salt: water desalination plants harm environment: U.N.

Too much salt: water desalination plants harm environment: U.N.

FILE PHOTO: Workers walk outside a desalination plant, south of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 2011. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

OSLO (Reuters) – Almost 16,000 desalination plants worldwide produce bigger-than-expected flows of highly salty waste water and toxic chemicals that are damaging the environment, a U.N.-backed study said on Monday.

Desalination plants pump out 142 million cubic meters (5 billion cubic feet) of salty brine every day, 50 percent more than previous estimates,

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